Low crowd expected for the Lei...

Football

Low crowd expected for the Leinster senior football semi-finals at Croke Park on Sunday


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How many people will turn up to watch Stephen Cluxton at Croke Park on Sunday? 

Dublin's All Ireland senior football winning captain will make an incredible 100th championship appearance against Kildare in the semi-finals of Leinster.  The match is part of a double header at GAA headquarters, with Meath to face Laois in the other last four encounter.

As of yesterday, only 16,000 tickets had been sold for the matches, although the Leinster Council are hoping that number will be closer to 30,000 by Sunday.

Why will the attendance be sparse at Croke Park?

Well it's all down to Dublin's dominance in the province.  The Metropolitans have won 13 of the last 14 Leinster titles, the only blip since 2005 coming in 2010 when they lost to Meath.  Manager Jim Gavin has never suffered a senior championship defeat in Leinster.

In 2015, when Dublin faced Kildare in a Leinster semi-final, the Croke Park capacity exceeded 50,000.  In 2011, it was closer to 60,000.

There will be unprecedented interest should the Dubs rock up on September 1st bidding to become the first team ever in football or hurling to win five in a row, but that is a long way off now.  It's not in the minds of any GAA supporter that Dublin could actually lose on Sunday and that only fuels the arguments for a two-tier Football Championship.

Meanwhile, Dublin forward Paul Mannion has been cleared to play against the Lilywhites after winning his hearing against the red card he received against Louth in the quarter final.

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